There’s nothing more comforting than a warm bowl of vegetarian chili, especially as the weather starts to get cooler. This chili is spicy, cozy, hearty, and flavorful and makes a perfect game-day dinner or weeknight meal.
I used to meal prep this meatless chili in a slow cooker way before I had kids. I was recently reminded of how delicious it was! Before the Instant Pot days, I had a crockpot so I prepped the chili before I left for work. It would be ready to go by the time we got home. There were always enough leftovers of the vegetarian slow cooker chili for me to pack for work lunches as well!
- Veggies: onions, jalapeño, bell pepper, tomato paste, corn, and Rotel (canned diced tomatoes and green chiles).
- Chili Protein: Quinoa, black beans, and pinto beans are your protein sources for this plant-based chili. You can use your favorite variety of beans but I recommend black, pinto, or kidney beans.
- Fresh Garlic. I add a lot of fresh garlic to the recipe but if you prefer yours to be less pungent, omit 2-3 cloves.
- Chili Spices: The perfect blend of spices for the chili include: chili powder, paprika, cumin powder, oregano salt, and sugar.
- Tangy Flavors: Vinegar and lime.
- Vegetable Broth: feel free to use water thin out the chili if needed.
👩🏽🍳 How to Make Chili in the Instant Pot
- If you don’t have an IP, see the FAQ section.
- In the IP Sauté onions, then add jalapeños and garlic. Add the bell peppers and cook for about 1 minute. I don’t like these too soft as they will cook in the IP as well. Add the quinoa and let it toast for about 5 minutes.
- Add the tomato paste until it begins to turn slightly darker. Turn off IP.
- Add the vegetable broth, and spices, and close the IP. Cook for 8 mins then quickly release steam. Carefully open the lid and push sauté mode, adjust to low heat (I have the older model IP and I click “adjust" 2 times to achieve a lower heat.
- Add the beans and let the chili simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally to make sure it doesn’t stick.
- Turn the Instant Pot off and adjust your seasonings. Add vinegar and a squeeze of lime. Serve warm with avocados, salsa, sour cream (vegan sour cream), or fresh cheddar cheese (or vegan cheese)!
👩🏽🍳 Vegetarian Chili in the Slow Cooker
This easy vegetarian chili recipe can easily be made on the stovetop or in your slow cooker, which makes it perfect for entertaining.
If you’re using your slow cooker, simply add all of your ingredients to your slow cooker, but reduce the broth/water and use only ¼ cup of broth total instead of ¾ cup. Then cook the vegetarian chili on low for 6-7 hours or on high for 3-4 hours until it’s nice and thick.
💭 FAQ and Substitutions
What if I don’t have an instant pot?
You can make this in a crockpot or the stovetop.
- Crockpot or Slow Cooker method: Add all of your ingredients to your except the beans, lime, and vinegar. Then cook the vegetarian chili on low for 6-7 hours or on high for 3-4 hours until it’s thickened. Add the beans in during the last 30 minutes. Add the lime and vinegar at the end.
- Stovetop method: Follow the crockpot instructions. Simmer for 4 hours on low heat. Stir occasionally to make sure it doesn't stick to the bottom. Add the beans in during the last 30 minutes of cooking. Add the lime and vinegar at the end.
Can I make the chili without quinoa?
I think the chili with quinoa makes it a hearty, filling meal. However, if you prefer to omit the quinoa, you can! I would decrease the amount of vegetable broth by about 1 cup and add more as needed at the end.
How long is chili good for?
I would store the vegan chili in the fridge for about 1 week.
To store Vegetarian chili
- In the refrigerator: Once your chili is completely cooled, just place it in an airtight container (or multiple, if you’d like to meal prep it) without the additional toppings and place it in the fridge. To reheat it, simply do so in the microwave with a microwave-safe bowl, or feel free to reheat it on the stovetop. Add your toppings once you’re ready to serve!
- In the freezer: can you freeze vegetarian chili? YES! Follow the instructions above, but instead of placing the chili in the refrigerator just put it in your freezer for up to 3 months. To reheat, simply thaw the vegetarian chili overnight and reheat it on the stovetop or in the microwave when you’re ready to eat.
More Soup Recipes
- Vegetarian Creamy Corn and Black Bean Soup
- Instant Pot Minestrone Soup
- Instant Pot Thai Sweet Potato and Lentil Soup
If you loved this Instant Pot Vegetarian Chili recipe, let me know in the comments below! I’d love to connect with you on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest! Subscribe to my weekly emails at the bottom so you never miss a new recipe!
Instant Pot Vegetarian Chili
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 1 jalapeño, diced
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 medium bell peppers, I used red and orange, diced
- ½ cup quinoa
- 1 tablespoon cumin powder
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon red chili powder
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1, 10 oz can diced tomatoes and green chilies
- ½ cup corn, I used frozen
- 3 cups vegetable broth, low sodium
- 1 ½ teaspoon salt + more to taste
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1, 16 oz can black beans, no salt added, drained and rinsed
- 1, 16 oz can pinto beans, no salt added, drained and rinsed
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar or apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- sour cream or greek yogurt
- Heat the Instant Pot on saute mode.
- Add the olive oil and once heated, add the onions. Stir frequently and cook the onions until nicely golden brown, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes.
- Add the garlic, jalapeños, and tomato paste, and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently, until tomato paste starts to turn darker.
- Stir in the chili powder, cumin, paprika, and oregano and combine well until fragrant.
- Add the bell peppers and cook for about 3-4 minutes until they start to soften. If your pot starts to brown, stir in ¼ cup of vegetable broth to deglaze.
- Add the quinoa and toast for 1 minute.
- Add the diced tomatoes and green chilies, corn, vegetable broth, salt, and sugar and combine well.
- Close the Instant Pot lid, sealed position. Press "Manual" mode for 8 minutes. Once the time is up, quick release the valve to release the pressure and carefully open the lid.
- Add the pinto beans and black beans. Press "Saute" mode on the instant pot and adjust to low. Simmer the chili (make sure the IP is on the lowest setting) for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Turn the Instant Pot off. Stir in the vinegar, and lime juice. Combine well and adjust salt and sugar to your taste preference.
- Serve warm with chopped cilantro, sliced scallions, sour cream, greek yogurt, avocado, or tortilla chips.